From bats and badgers to butterflies and birds – 'wildlife walk' n' talks' are to become part of Thames Water field staff's on-the-job training.
Hazel Ryan with a water vole at Crossness
The company is staging the briefings at its sites across London and the Thames Valley to ensure its employees look after the flora and fauna.
The talks are part of a wider Thames Water scheme to improve biodiversity by 2020.
They also support Stepping Up for Nature, a new campaign launched by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) this month to encourage businesses looking after natural habitats.
Due to start in April, the wildlife walk 'n' talks have been praised by RSPB as fitting exactly with the kind of commitment they want to see from UK businesses.
Darren Moorcroft, RSPB Head of Countryside and Species Conservation, said:
"If we are going to halt the decline in wildlife by 2020 then individuals, Government and businesses alike need to step up and do their bit.
"It is fantastic news that Thames Water is getting on board with the campaign. The Thames and its tributaries are home to a variety of wildlife but they face a range of threats including urban development, run off pollution from streets and sewage.
"Thames Water is working to address these issues with big projects like the Thames Tunnel which will reduce sewage overflows, as well as identifying and protecting wildlife habitats. If more businesses step up for nature across the UK then we really can help make a world which is better for wildlife tomorrow than it is today."
Cathy Purse, Thames Water's Biodiversity Field Officer, said:
"Sustainability for us means doing the right thing for people, the performance of our business and the environment - and our wildlife walk 'n' talks are a part of that. We depend on the natural environment for our core business so it's right that we should look after it.
"We have all sorts of creatures that thrive on our sites and we want to teach our staff about what to look out for and what kind of habitats they need. If we are all more aware of what surrounds our sites then we help avoid accidentally damaging these habitats in the future.
"On our sites we have newts, bats, otters, water voles and a whole array of creatures. If our staff know what wildlife we have on our sites, we can factor this into any future work that’s carried out."
Thames Water has already identified the following creatures to look after: Great Crested Newts living on sites in Swindon, Bracknell and Surrey, water voles at Crossness sewage works in east London and Ascot, badgers at Ash Vale, Aylesbury, Wargrave, Ripley and Basingstoke, otters in Sandhurst, bats in Reading, Pangbourne and Burghfield and reptiles in Ascot and Wargrave.